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Dunkin' Donut Mystery!

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A mysterious email appeared in our inbox this morning, notifying us of a Dunkin' Donuts Shopping Cart Derby being held at the Santa Monica Pier tomorrow morning (check-in begins at 9am, you can register here through the Thrillist website). The event is being hosted by Maria Menounos, and the lucky winning team will receive a two-year supply of Dunkin' Donuts coffee, revered by many as the morning brew of choice.

But wait just a second here -- there aren't any Dunkin' Donuts in Los Angeles. In fact, there isn't a single Dunkin' Donuts in the entire state of California -- despite plans in 2002 to reinvigorate the franchise here on the West Coast, the last Dunkins closed down in the late 90's, much to the dismay of East Coasters who revere the franchise. Is tomorrow's event a harbinger of things to come? Will Dunkin' Donuts be making a triumphant return to the So Cal landscape? Or is all of this just a marketing ploy to rustle up some interest in their new online coffee offerings?

We're not complaining, and in fact, we're placing our order this very minute. But a quick look at the DD website shows that there are no franchising opportunities open yet in California -- but Taiwan, among many other countries, is getting 100 storefronts by 2017. Dunkin' Brands also owns Togo's and Baskin-Robbins, however, both of which are blessedly franchised throughout SoCal -- it stands to reason that both operations might sell the Dunkin'-brand coffee.

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But why didn't DD succeed in SoCal? Is there some secret conspiracy amongst donut-shop insiders? Why are we being denied access to trans-fat-free apple fritters, bear claws, and jelly-filled goodness? It might be because L.A.'s Cambodian population cornered the market on donut shops, for some totally inexplicable reason, as BloggingLA discovered a few years back.The mysteries continue to multiply, but perhaps some of you will check out tomorrow's event and return victoriously, bearing before you the key to the mystery -- and a baker's dozen of the finest donuts in the country.